We're proud to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) - seeking peace and prosperity for all people and the planet by 2030. The University’s Institute for Sustainability provides a focus for our activity.
Newcastle University engages in the UN policy process
We take part in many UN processes, including the annual High Level Political Forum (HLPF).
In 2017 we partnered with parliamentarians and NGOs to present a side event called ‘Open, inclusive, participatory and transparent’: How can voluntary national reviews support the pledge to “leave no one behind” in implementing the 2030 Agenda? at the HLPF.
Voluntary National Reports (VNR) are countries reporting their progress against the UNSDGs.
At the event, we focussed on discussing how (and if) VNRs are creating a cycle of accountability to citizens (especially for people from marginalised groups) at the national levelp.
The event brought together governments and civil society partners. They came from countries that volunteered in 2016 to present their post-HLPF experience as well as 2017 and 2018 VNR countries. Together they shared their national processes and planned next steps after the HLPF.
Academics at Newcastle University are currently engaging with government representatives in some Global South countries. This is to survey their approach to the Voluntary National Report process. Academics are identifying with these countries, approaches to facilitating the process and strengthening reports.
Our research on conservation of biodiversity is being used to inform the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The research of particular interest is on suitable indicators for the monitoring of conservation status.
There is an outline agreement that the outcome of CBD discussions and negotiations over the next three years will feed into the relevant SDG targets. This is particularly for Goal 15, Life on Land.
Newcastle University is a member of the UN Academic Impact Initiative. We also engage with the International Council for Science. This is a key organisation which enables us to connect our research to UN processes around the SDGs.
Participation in UK activities on the SDGs
UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) are a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)-led network aiming to hold the Government to account on the SDGs in the UK. They also share best practice on the SDGs (in the UK and with other countries who are also grappling with the goals).
UKSSD has many NGO and business members, Newcastle University’s Institute for Sustainability is an academic member of UKSSD. Graham Long has prepared a first look at how the UK is measuring up against the goals.
Newcastle University Research: Implementation to achieve the SDGs
Newcastle University’s Institute for Sustainability places the SDGs at the heart of its strategy. It builds on its established reputation for research excellence and interdisciplinarity to deliver practical, engaged solutions to real-world sustainability issues.
The Institute’s annual conference in 2016 focussed on the SDGs. In particular the importance of partnership across academia, business and policymakers, to achieve the Goals. A special policy note (PDF 4.7MB) summarises the main conclusions.
The Institute’s 2017 conference focusses on academic input to the High Level Political Forum in 2018.